I’m thrilled to welcome Peggy Bird to the blog today. Peggy and I met as launch authors for Crimson Romance a few short years ago. Peggy’s been quite prolific since then in comparison to my slow self. I think she also makes a better brisket than I do. (pouts). At least she is sharing her recipe. Don’t forget to check out The Gift of Love at the bottom!
In every romance novel I write, I include a scene where my couple eats a meal together. The reason? I think feeding someone is one of the most intimate and caring things we can do. It engages all the senses and the food doesn’t have to be overtly aphrodisiac to be sensual. Sometimes pasta is sexier than oysters and champagne.
For example, one of my heroes cooked the Italian food his mother taught him to love in childhood. The fact that it brought back good memories for the heroine certainly helped his cause! Another of my heroes put together a romantic picnic at the Oregon coast for the woman he was trying to impress. Even heroine who get called back on duty before she can get the hero to the table eventually had her chance to win over her men with a great meal.
In my latest book, “The Gift of Love,” Isabella Rodriguez invites Taylor, the man who’s been showing her around her new city of Seattle, to dinner in her apartment. She’s Cuban-American and promises a typical Cuban meal. The main dish is ropa vieja. She explains the story behind the meal to him: a poor man makes a meal for his children, adding shredded old clothes to the meager bit of meat he has. Magically, the clothes turn into meat and his children are satisfied.
There’s no magic—or old clothes—in this recipe based on one from Cook’s Illustrated—just good beef brisket and spices.
Ropa Vieja Recipe